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Full text of "Laughing Torso"

LAUGHING    TORSO
shop in the Avenue du Maine. There worked
Russians, Germans, and Scandinavians, but no
English or Americans. There were very good models
posed with draperies and mimosa. Every afternoon
from five to seven there was a sketch class with poses
lasting from five minutes to half an hour. On
Fridays two models posed together. One day a
large negro and his wife sat. They giggled all the
time and another negro sat on. a chair with a guitar
and played a whistle through his nose as we drew.
WassiliefF and I became great friends. She did
not speak any English and I learnt to speak fluent
but bad French very quickly. Modigliani lived in
the Boulevard Raspail in a studio with a garden; a
watch was nailed on to a tree for him to see the
time. He would often come home at two or three
in the morning and start to carve stone. The neigh-
bours, hearing the tap, tap of his chisel decided
that he was cc louftingue" I only went there once,
I was rather frightened of him. I went round
one afternoon. At that time he did not paint, but
drew and sculpted. There was a long head with
a very long nose that was broken. Modigliani said,
" Un soir il a tomb& et il a casse son nez" What had
really happened was that Modigliani came home
feeling rather gay, bumped into it, and knocked it
over. It is now in the Victoria and Albert Museum
and its nose has been mended. One night he came
home very drunk. He was very hot and he took
off all his clothes and lay down in the garden on
the flower-bed which was against the walls of the
studio. In the early hours of the morning two cats
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